How do I know that the person installing my locks is qualified?
Many tradesman and handymen will install locks and door furniture for you if you ask them. As installing, fixing and maintaining locks may not seem like a complicated and involved process, it is more efficient and effective to get a locksmith to do this. This will save time, money and hassle for you by not voiding the warranty by the incorrect installation and possible easy manipulation or break in.
To make sure that your locksmith is qualified there are a couple of things to look for:
Licensed - Make sure to get a licensed locksmith. Having a locksmiths licence is not something that is just paid for, it must be earned with training, experience and adhering to a strict code of conduct.
It is also a great idea to look for those who are a member of a Locksmithing Association. This ensures that the locksmith is up to date with training, changes in rules and regulations and keeps up to date with new and emerging technologies, products and insurance rebates. If a lock is installed incorrectly it may not comply with your insurance requirements an so may void cover.
What is the difference between changing and re keying locks?
Lock re keying is a process performed by a locksmith, which changes the tumblers inside the lock, thus making it useless to the key that used to fit that same lock before. This option is great if you have a properly working lock and it is a good enough lock to protect your property. Lock re keying will save you time and money. It can be done 24 hours a day, onsite with our fully equipped service vehicles, and it requires less time and parts used!
It is recommended to re key your locks when you move to a new home and if you are renting have it part of the rent agreement.
If your locks are broken or not of a suitable quality, then you will need to renew your locks. This will require removing the old locks and installing new hardware. Although this is a more expensive option, it may be required. It will also give you the opportunity to update your locks to ones that suit your requirements, ie you may change the look of your locks, or employ the use of technology with more advance features.
You can also have your premises keyed alike, so that one key is used for all of your locks.
What are transponder keys?
Most of the cars that were manufactured from the year 2000 are equipped with a Transponder system, so if you own a car that was made on or after 2000 - you are better protected from auto-theft. On the other hand, you still find yourself in need of a new Transponder key, be it because your key is lost, broken, stolen or maybe you just need a spare copy.
Transponder keys are designed to provide radio transmission for the car and the key, therefore making the car more secured from thieves.
Once you insert a Transponder key into the ignition, the ignition will transmit a radio signal on a certain frequency, which the electronic Transponder chip inside the key must detect. Only if you use the correctly programmed key will you be able to start your car.
How do I keep my transponder key safe?
Have at least two keys - When you are to buy a car equipped with a transponder system, see to it that you have at least two transponder keys. Your extra key's will be useful during emergencies, like when you lose or forget the key somewhere.
If your transponder or remote has a battery in it, don’t forget to check your spare key every 3 months in case the battery runs low.
Never get your transponder wet, it does not like it. With most vehicles you can get a plain key cut (with no transponder) that will get the door open but will not start the vehicle. These are handy to take to the beach whilst leaving your transponder in the vehicle or another safe place. Keep the card with your key code in a safe place (not in the vehicle). This will allow you to get another key cut easily if something happens to the other keys.
What do I do if I have been locked out of my vehicle?
Almost every driver finds themselves at least once locked out of their own vehicle, staring at the key through the window and wondering how it happened.
If you found yourself in a lockout situation, it doesn't mean that it's time for an improvised lock picking. It was possible to break into a car with relative ease in the past, but today it's nearly impossible.
When you need to get your keys out of a car, let a locksmith do the work. A locksmith is quick and will not damage your vehicle. You will need to show to the locksmith proof of ownership of the vehicle. This must be the registration papers with your name on it and your drivers licence or other proof of ownership.
What to do if you lose all keys to your vehicle?
If all keys are lost it can be quite an easy process for most makes and models.
Vehicles from 2000 have transponders or computerised chipped keys which require programming into the vehicles’ on board computer which is accessed by a diagnostic tool.
We offer a wide range of software to cater for these events.
TIP – prevention is better than cure.
MODERN CAR KEYS
Why are they so expensive?
During the 1990s car theft around the world had become a major problem for police forces, insurers and the motorist. Thieves could steal a car in minutes. Something had to be done, leading to the development of the electronic immobilizer. A number of different electronic immobilizer systems have been developed around the world with the transponder chipped key the most common.
The introduction of the electronic key by car manufacturers required the actual key with the matched chip or electronic coding to be used to start the car – if the correct matched key is not used the onboard computer will not allow the car to start. This process started in the late 1990’s and the vast majority of new cars sold in Australia since 2000 have electronic key immobilizer security.
It is now much harder to reproduce an extra key and/or remote for the modern car as special equipment and software are required to cut and program the key. Additionally, specialized techniques and software are required to produce central locking remotes, which in many cases are incorporated in the key head.
What are the typical costs?
The cost to supply a replacement key or remote for your vehicle in normal working hours may be in the range of $150 - $400, and in some cases even more, even if you have an existing key or remote. The lower cost keys are generally “cloned” (where the electronics can be copied), however, not all keys/remotes are able to be cloned and some must be programmed into the vehicle using special equipment and processes.
What if all the keys are lost?
The process of providing a “first” key or a key from scratch is a lot more complex. The car may need to be unlocked, security alarm reset and key codes ascertained using specialist diagnostic equipment. Car owners are advised to always maintain a spare key – loss or failure of an only key will result in considerable additional expense, often to the tune of hundreds of dollars.
Some cars on the Australian market require the on-board computer to be removed and re-programmed. This requires the new key/remote to be introduced to the car using further specialist equipment and techniques. To provide working keys for a vehicle where no working key is available will generally cost in excess of $400 and, in many cases, depending on the make and model exceed $1000. Prices may vary depending location of the vehicle and out of normal hours service charges. Some models require a minimum of two keys for successful programming.
Your Guild automotive locksmith will generally use genuine or OEM standard keys/remotes although in some cases after-market products may be offered provided quality and outcomes meet required standards.
Car locked up, no keys?
The modern car locked up with no keys available presents difficulties not found in older cars. Cars locked electronically, by remote, may require specialized tools and techniques to open. Costs to open in these cases can exceed $350.
Not all locksmiths offer specialized automotive services. The cost of setting up equipment, software and training for modern automotive work is considerable. If your local Guild locksmith cannot do the work he will be able to refer you to an automotive locksmithing specialist who has the necessary expertise and can provide an estimate of costs before proceeding.
Commercial hardware is a higher quality and long lasting product which is tested for high traffic areas where a door is opened and closed thousands of times a day.
The correct application and function of locks for different locking situations can be applied to help with security and/or safety solutions and easy operation to an entry way or exit to comply with the Australian Standards – ie Fire and security regulations.
Although commercial hardware is long lasting it is essential that it is installed to the manufacturers’ instructions and maintained with appropriate lubricants to prevent premature wearing.
A tip for long lasting door hardware is to have a door controlling device installed (eg a door closer). This will control the closing action of the door to prevent slamming or over opening causing damage to locks and hinges.
Added security door hardware can improve the locks’ security and help to extend the life of the equipment.
What are some tips for when I purchase my first safe?
Fire Or Theft - All safes are primarily designed as either fire resisting or theft resisting.
It is true, there are some theft resisting safes that do have fire ratings. These safes generally have a 1/2 fire rating not to be confused with a true fire rated safe (cabinet).
A true fire rated safe (depending on the test house) should withstand a typical fire for at least 1 hour without the internal temperature passing between 50 - 177 C (again depending on the testing house) and type of test.
Theft resisting safes are designed to withstand attack from tools such as; hand, picking , mechanical, electrical, hand grinders, carbide drills, devices that apply pressure, cutting wheels, power saws, impact tools etc.
Grade (quality) of safe required to match threat - The quality of a safe is generally determined by the type of materials used combined with how these materials are used within the safe design.
Fire resisting safes are purposely designed with thin outer metal protection (approx 1 -3 mm thick) combined with fire resisting material internally.
Theft resisting safes start at approx 5mm to 30mm thick combined with "Barrier materials" within the door and body of safe.
Budget / Cost - Cost is controlled by the grade and size of the safe; this is true for fire or theft resisting.
Unfortunately, some buyers are controlled by budget; some may say that any safe is better than no safe. This is true to some extent, but beware of buying safes that do not match your specific requirements. The old adage is still true today, 'you get what you pay for'.
Delivery & placement of Safe - It is important to remember that there are many types of safes available which vary in size and weight. Most safes weighing over 100kg require to be installed by professional safe installers.
Important things to consider when a safe is being delivered:
Are there stairs involved?
Can the safe fit thought all doorways?
Can the floor take the weight of the safe?
Do floors require protection when delivering the safe?
Is there sufficient space for safe and safe door to fully open?
What is CCTV?
CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television, which is a system that has one or more cameras connected to a recording device (called a DVR – Digital Video Recorder). Video tapes are no longer used as images are stored on one or more hard drives in the DVR, or memory cards for more mobile systems.
What are the advantages of a CCTV system?
CCTV is a great deterrent for anti-social and criminal behaviour. If someone thinks they will be recorded then they will just go somewhere else.
For those times where someone does actually do something they are not supposed to then you have images for identification and to take to the police.
For everyday use, cameras can record what happens during the day and night, keep an eye on kids and pets and give you great peace of mind knowing that you can see what is happening at your home or business day or night.
What should I look for in a CCTV system?
Firstly you have to decide what it is you want the cameras to watch and what you want to achieve. If it is for a business then do you want a wide overall view or a close up of certain areas. How much coverage do you want (this will determine how many cameras you require), is one camera at the door sufficient or do you need to keep an eye on an area that is not as easy to see from the counter as well. Does your staff leave at night and need to see what and who is outside.
For home use you can decide do you only want live viewing (which means you do not need a recording device, you can connect your camera to your TV) or do you want to record the images. Do you want to be able to see who is at the front door before you open it, or are you wanting to see if the kids are ok.
The environment that your cameras will be working in will also be a consideration. For example, if you want a camera in a food preparation area then you cannot use a glass cover.
Once you have decided what it is you want from your system you can decide on what equipment you will need. Systems do vary greatly in price which means that they also vary greatly in features and quality. For example, a camera that may cost $250.00 will not see as far or as clear as a camera that costs $900.00 - or have features like vandal resistance or high definition.
Brands and Suppliers:
Some helpful sites: